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Traverse Area Paddle Club

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Trip Reports

July 3 Pine River cleanup, Peterson to Low

 | Published on 7/3/2019
Report by Jane Cloutier

A TAPC river cleanup always feels like a cross between a river trip, a treasure hunt, and a kid's tree-climbing scramble.  The 7/3/19 cleanup on the Pine certainly did, with the addition of a few refreshing swims, both accidental and on-purpose.

Eleven people in ten boats participated: Glenn Bier, Jane Cloutier, Jacqueline Morgenstein, Marlene Puska, Kurt Reinhart, Gerald Wilgus, and Susan Wilgus.  Lois Goldstein organized the trip, and John Heiam took the great pictures.  Mark Miltner of the Pine River Paddlesports Center had been out most of the previous day with a crew clearing trees and brush out of the river, but still found the time and energy to join us, along with his sister JoAnn.

We found plenty of trash, including the usual cans, bottles, and shoes, as well as a canoe paddle, a PFD, and a wallet in a ziplock bag!  Lois took charge of getting it back to the owner, along with a note asking for his promise to quit using the vaping supplies that were also in the bag.  Note from Lois: By that evening, we had contacted the owner, arranged to return the wallet - once it dries out - and contents, and received a promise that he would quit!  We also suggested that he mail a thank-you note to Marlene, who had found it in the first place.

We even got some outside help, a group of kayakers who paused their trip to be spotters for Jane scrambling through a log tangle when the TAPC group had gotten a bit spread out.  Wildlife we spotted included frogs, turtles, and cliff swallows.  The river was pretty busy, with several other groups of paddlers passing us in canoes, kayaks, and a raft, but no serious rescues were needed this time.

Lois's swim was intentional, on that hot afternoon.  Kurt's was not, but he rescued himself, grabbing on to the stern rope of Lois's canoe.  It was warm enough that getting wet felt great to all of us who went wading or deeper, but the temps never were high enough to make anyone unhappy.  A great time was had by all!

Photos by John
The group minus a few members - The lady with her arm around Mark is his "little" sister JoAnn.

The others

Lois hands off her prized find, a squirt gun, to Kurt

Sometimes even small creatures want to visit the other side of the river.

Mark and Kurt walk around on a log jam to pick up trash.

Giving folks a trash bag for their empties doesn't help if it is not tied in.

Mark gets out to pick up a cushion.

Mark's sister, JoAnn, gets out to show her brother how it's done.

Kurt climbs a hill to get some trash.

Jane climbs a tree to get some trash

Swallow nests

We thought this was all our trash

And then we found more down by the water that hadn't been brought up!

Trash bags that had not been tied in. They are very hard to retrieve because they get tangled in branches.